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The German "Mikrokreditwunder": Lessons learned-challenges encountered

Publication Papers

The access to finance for enterprises and start-ups in Germany was until recently rated as favourable compared to its international peers, due to a strong saving banks sector and a well developed system of promotional funding schemes.

However, today this situation is challenged by the growth of new target groups with limited access to finance, e.g. micro start-ups out of unemployment and self-employed with a migratory background. Together with the main actors of the German microcredit sector the federal ministry for labour and social affairs (BMAS) in 2010 decided to set up the "Mikrokreditfonds Deutschland", pooling resources with a total volume of 100 Million €, including 60 Million € from the ESF, to finance start-ups and microentrepreneurs previously without proper financial access.

This marked a significant moment for microfinance in Germany and sparked considerable interest from microfinance practitioners and policy makers throughout Europe.